Written by Carlyle Collins
BSc (Hons) Forensic Science
There comes a point in the university journey of most students when they realise they fall into either of the following categories: they’ve never written a CV before or they’ve written a CV but unsure of the correct/ most updated format for one. This is when most people turn to BU’s Careers and Employability Service. While this is the correct place to turn for this sort of advice, many students’ relationship with the Careers Service tends to end at this point without realising the wealth of other resources freely available to them!
Think about this for a moment. You want to apply for a job of some sort (this may be part time, placement year or grad job) and you’ve done your best to rustle up a CV. You do your Google research, you ask your mom and best mate to have a look at it, and they make minor changes which help you to make it more presentable. Nevertheless, you still wish there was someone who could give professional advice that is specific to your case. Oh, and you’re a student so you’d prefer this service to be at minimal cost i.e. free! If you’re ever in this situation, and you probably will be, book a free one-to-one appointment with an adviser at BU’s Careers Service and they will have a thorough look at your CV and make suggestions. Even before you get to your appointment, there is much helpful, generic information on their website too.
The Analytical Chemisty Lab where I spent much of my time during my placement
However, to have a CV which ‘stands out from the crowd’ (a term I think is synonymous with BU) you need to produce evidence which demonstrates your all round ability. The Careers Service at BU gives students the opportunity to complete the Student Development Award (SDA) which is a certificated programme. SDA is a scheme where all of the extra-curricular activities you’ve participated in are compiled into a portfolio that can be used to impress future employers.
Preparation of soil samples for analysis, during my placement
During my search for a placement the Careers Service was helpful as a jobs board. Job openings were constantly announced and updated. Search tools are available to help you save time by narrowing the jobs you view to your field of interest.
BU’s Careers and Employability Service organises campus based workshops to allow networking opportunities with established professionals in various fields and to equip you with appropriate skills for job interviews along with much more. Materials are also available on their website, to prepare you for psychometric tests which employers often use in the candidate selection process.
Part of my fieldwork for the Undergraduate Research Assistant programme
This is only a brief overview of what is available through BU’s Careers Service. While there is a large amount of wonderful resources on offer, in my opinion the most amazing thing is this Service is still available to BU graduates for three years after graduating!
By Carlyle Collins